His terror was swallowed up in a sudden temptation to put on the Ring. The desire to do this laid hold of him, and he could think of nothing else.
    –The Fellowship of the Ring

When Conflict at the Carrock hits the stores in August, it’s going to hit hard, swinging a massive, troll-sized club. This second Adventure Pack in the Shadows of Mirkwood cycle for The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game forces the heroes of Middle-earth on a detour from their hunt for Gollum.

Thrilling combat

While searching for Gollum along the banks of the Anduin, the heroes hear rumors that a group of trolls have begun terrorizing the Carrock. Only by seeking out Grimbeorn the Old and assisting his efforts can the heroes drive the trolls back to the mountains from which they came.

Each of the six Adventure Packs in the Shadows of Mirkwood cycle presents a unique, new scenario that highlights a different element of the game. The result is that players can do something new and different with each Adventure Pack. Conflict of the Carrock rushes heroes with some of the toughest enemy combatants in the cycle as heroes have to take up arms in a massive battle against a group of powerful trolls.

Sooner or later the dark power will devour him

As you try to figure out how best to assign your heroes to questing, fending off attacks, and counterattacking, you may wish you had more heroes.

Some cards increase your flexibility as you approach each stage. Aragorn, for instance, can spend a resource after committing to a quest to ready, allowing him to either defend or attack in the combat phase. Legolas offers you the potential to progress along the quest as he kills enemies, but your threat still rises if you don’t commit enough willpower during the quest phase to overcome the total threat in the staging area. Finally, the Spirit attachment Unexpected Courage exhausts to ready the attached hero.

Now Conflict at the Carrock introduces another hero with tremendous flexibility, Frodo Baggins . At a mere seven threat, Frodo helps keep your starting threat low, and his two willpower can make a solid contribution to the quest phase each turn. His attack strength and hit points are merely hobbit-sized, and even though his two defense strength is respectable, it’s best to keep Frodo Baggins out of combat. Yet, that’s the problem, isn’t it? If you commit all your heroes to questing, you have none left to defend against enemy attacks. If you have only enough heroes and allies to hold your enemies at bay, you have no one to attack and drive them off. Frodo Baggins, though, gives you another option. Instead of defending against an attack, you can let it go undefended and convert the damage to increased threat with his response ability.

Thematically, you might imagine that Frodo hides from the attack at the last instant by slipping on the One Ring. He’s distracted the enemy attacking him long enough that his allies have gotten safely away, so the potential for bodily harm has been nullified. But the One Ring exerts the Dark Lord’s influence over all who would wear it.

Desperate decisisons

If he often uses the Ring to make himself invisible, he fades : he becomes in the end invisible permanently, and walks in the twilight under the eye of the dark power that rules the Rings.
Gandalf , The Fellowship of the Ring

Should Frodo slip away from an attack and move closer to the dark power that rules the Rings? Each turn, you’ll need to decide whether to take advantage of Frodo’s unique ability. If you use his ability too often or too early, you’ll risk losing at fifty threat, suffering from treachery effects like Evil Storm , or finding yourself engaged with high-threat enemies like Hummerhorns .

Still, Frodo’s ability gives you one of the rare opportunities to survive an enemy like Hummerhorns. And since you can use his response once each phase, he could survive an Evil Storm even while wounded and then still survive Hummerhorns.

The greatest advantage Frodo Baggins offers, though, is that he frees up other heroes to act. If Frodo quests with a Protector of Lorien , then Beravor can exhaust to draw two cards. If they’re the right cards, the draw yields more than the extra two willpower would. If they’re not essential cards, you can discard them to add to Frodo’s willpower. If Denethor doesn’t need to quest, you can use him to defend, where he excels. If Gimli and Legolas don’t need to defend against a massive troll like Morris , they may be able to kill it and remove the threat once and for all. In this manner, Frodo Baggins is the ultimate team player, keeping your heroes focused on the quest, even while remaining ready for other challenges.

As we get nearer the rough and rowdy Conflict at the Carrock , look for Frodo Baggins to help keep your heroes committed to the quest and ready to lend their aid to Grimbeorn in his efforts to drive the trolls back to the mountains from which they came!

Formulate your plan

Conflict at the Carrock is scheduled to release this August. Until it releases, you can gather round our community forums to share your campfire tales.

The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game is a cooperative card game that puts 1-2 players (or up to four with an additional Core Set) in control of the most powerful characters and artifacts of Middle-earth. Players will select heroes, gather allies, acquire artifacts, and coordinate their efforts to face Middle-earth’s most dangerous fiends. The Living Card Game format allows players to customize their gaming experience with monthly Adventure Pack expansions to the core game.

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